The Case of the Black Pearl Necklace

(Experimental recap chapter)


I’m smoking a cigarette before the open window. Pigeons roosting on the ledge don’t  mind the smoke bellowing out of my lungs and drifting past their nosy beaks. The fire escape is covered in their droppings. Birds shit in their own nest. I used to go out there, even though it’s a little high up to feel comfortable. Not anymore. Today it’s wet pigeon shit from all the rain

Don’t mind the rain so much, except that I generally want to kill myself after about five days of rain in a row. I currently can’t remember the last time it didn’t rain for a whole, entire day and night. Must be really sunny and dry somewhere, to balance out the old ledger sheet….The good Lord giveth and taketh away, they say.

Going to wait to go down to the bar till after two, p.m.. Dancer coming on today I like. They open at 11:30 a.m.. Don’t want to seem too eager. Her shift goes till four. Play it cool and wait for my connection to show. Just a little jonesy happening now, the crack of noon. I should be okay. Nice stiff Black Russian should take the edge off.

Buying drugs in the bathroom of a strip club, it’s so gnarly the way my life turned out this far that I can’t really stand to look at it for too long. Of course that  club is a little more elegant than a strip bar, or at least they like to think so. Cover starts after four p.m. on the mid shift–four till nine—ten bucks and a two drink minimum. I get my drinks at the employee discount rate, half off, as I used to work security there, before I got fired for nodding off in the bathroom stall. I was in the middle of a change run for the front door.

You may have wanted me to go get change, but I wanted to go get high. Who do you think is going to win that one? Definitely not you. Well actually, I guess you did, since I got fired for my errant behavior. Shit, employees getting high on the job there, and you want me to share your concern. Why not just open a treatment center next door while you’re at it. Probably make more money than your lousy strip club, excuse the fuck out of me, Gentleman’s Club.

This is how the world ends, not with a whimper but with one lousy balloon at a time. Or, as Dr. Californicum would say, “Can I have some china with my whites.”

The phony heiress, who wants me to find her precious Black Pearl Necklace, made the mistake of giving me more money. Of course, how could she help herself after I had fucked her. Because her boyfriend, Brent, who got filled with holes on the Good Ship Lollipop, otherwise known as the Little Joe, has us on the run from the Hong Kong Mafia, and her former employer, Mr. Skin…who she and the Brentster stole the priceless, 18th century, one-of–a-kind, black pearls and round, gem-cut diamond necklace from just a few days ago…And brought all this trouble from Hong Kong to my broken down doorstep, here in The Tenderloin.

The heiress and I—Gabriella’s her real name, Laura’s her former lap dancer name, and the name she uses—have split up to follow separate leads. We’re in a race to catch up to the necklace, before it gets auctioned off at an exclusive, invite-only event, probably taking place at the home of one Benjamin Cartwright—Bonanza, the Little Joe, you get the picture—who stole the necklace from Brent, who somehow figured the room safe combo, and took it from Gabriella, AKA, Laura, before he got filled with lead by…Hong Kong Mafia Ninjas, or Cartwright’s hires, or…another player in the priceless necklace sweepstakes.

For men who have everything—slaves, yachts, and lots of government cheese—the only thing left to acquire, I guess, is a priceless antique necklace, rumored to have other-worldly powers. They say it can almost speak to you, through the logos of a code, formed by the number and pattern of alternating black and white, day and night, pearls and diamonds, discovered by Ayurvedic Science, millennia ago.

Supposedly, the Black Pearl necklace represents a three-D time code, 13/20, for the Universe. This is what the Brenster told me when we ate at Joe’s, hours before he got dispatched to the other area code. But more than that, it’s also where the wild pearls were found, where the diamonds were mined, and the care with which a Persian jeweler made the piece, according to explicit instructions from a Ceylon Brahmin, who received the knowledge from a yogi…who loved his plantation’s Tea.

And I just wanna get high. It’s only counterfeit cash I’m holding that Laura picked up from a contact here who was going to buy the necklace. I don’t like passing bad paper, shitting in my own nest, but the way things are going, my days are definitely numbered. At the very least, I suspect I will be chasing after this necklace, which could be flying out of here and heading to anyplace in the world by this weekend. Maybe even back to Mr. Skin  in Hong Kong. I like Hong Kong. China White.

Laura says she’s going to share the wealth with me. I don’t believe her. I think she’s just fucking me to get me to go along. She doesn’t realize I’m not necessarily that kind of guy. I would do anything for my alto sax, now pawned and sold, and the Man.

But Laura—she says is her real name, but actually Gabriella, cause Brent told me only hours before the bats filled him with holes on the Little Joe—thinks I’m a natural born sucker.

Well isn’t that Special. Love the way she handles a .38, speaking of special. Said her father taught her, former marine colonel. Yeah right. Nice story. I’d almost fall for that if I was a complete idiot, instead of a clever junky.

Junkies always think they’re clever, especially detective junkies…on the  trail, getting hotter, of the Black Pearl Necklace. And yes, Mr. Detective Man—James Whitecarol, black and White Agency, specializing in lost and found—you are falling for her, considering the number of times you’ve said her names to yourself in the last five minutes.


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